Mermaid Mini Sessions – be a real mermaid!

I’m combining the two things I’m asked for most – photography and mermaid tails!

Lots of people have said they’d love to book a hen party/birthday party, but don’t have enough friends who’d be willing to do the mermaid thing.

I would say get different friends, but figured it’d be much easier to just put together some mermaid photoshoots instead…

Using the gorgeous Loft studio in Colchester, you’ll get to choose your tail from the Mermaiding UK wardrobe, raid the props box for your favourite accessories, and then have a 20-30 minute photoshoot as a mermaid.

The session includes four professionally edited photos with a print licence for personal use – if you decide you can’t live without the others, you’ll be able to order more on the day.

It’s time to show the world your inner mermaid – with beautiful photographs!

Slots are available for the 28th October 2017 – find out more and book your place by clicking here.

Portrait sessions for professional & hobbyist mermaids, and fantasy art sessions collaborating with artist Rhiannon Bull, are also on the cards – hop on the MerMail list to keep posted!

Mermaid tails and safety

Tackling the recent scaremongering in the press has suddenly shot up my priority list, after a series of badly researched articles in some actually quite sensible newspapers. To my shame, one of them is one I used to work for…

Here’s the thing.

Mermaid tails are not inherently dangerous.

Photography by Grace Hill for Mermaiding UK

No more than snowboards, skis, BMX bikes, pole dancing, scuba diving, archery, getting on an aeroplane, driving, or any number of other perfectly normal sports & pursuits.

In all of which yes, you can die. If you are stupid enough to undertake a sport without any training and push it and your body to extremes, if you don’t take sensible precautions, if you undertake a sport alone with no buddy or safety spotter, and sometimes if you are just extremely unlucky.

The current story doing the rounds highlights one Harry Byatt, who drowned while snorkelling, wearing a monofin, in Zakynthos this summer.

While his death is of course tragic, he was not mermaiding – he was wearing a monofin, as divers and freedivers and snorkellers worldwide have done since the 1970s.

Freediving, while an extreme sport, is generally considered dangerous due to the extended breath hold and the depths divers reach, rather than the fin, which is simply a propellor.

He was not wearing a mermaid tail. He was not teaching mermaiding. Harry Byatt’s death had nothing to do with mermaiding. His death is, unfortunately, getting a lot of press attention because his mum was lady-in-waiting to Princess Diana. Which has nothing to do with mermaids or mermaiding.

Starting slowly

If you have never touched a snowboard before, you don’t strap yourself to one and immediately launch yourself down the nearest black run with no training, backup or practice.

If you use your bike to commute to work on a road, you don’t start flinging it around underneath you the first time you ride it down a ramp at a skate park.

If you don’t drive, you don’t get in the nearest car, learn how to change gear and then immediately rag it round a racetrack at 100mph.

Similarly, if you have never worn a mermaid tail, you don’t start in the sea and you don’t immediately start trying to do tricks.

Like any other piece of sports equipment, you spend time getting used to it, you learn how it works and its limitations.

My recommendation for your first few swims in a mermaid tail is to make sure you’re in water you can stand up in – stay in the shallow end, or use a pool with a constant depth. It means if you do get into difficulty, you can just right yourself and stand up, or kick off the tail and stand up.

Never swim alone

The first rule of swimming, let alone mermaiding, is never swim alone. Never, ever, even get into a pool without someone else around who is capable of getting you out of the water in an emergency.

Regardless of your ability, experience and knowledge, accidents can and do happen, so swimming with a buddy is the safest way to enjoy the water. With or without a tail!

Children in tails

If you are a parent with a child who is desperate to be a mermaid, it is your job to make sure they are safe. This means:

  1. Making sure they can actually swim before letting them try a tail.
  2. Don’t just buy them a tail, help them put it on, coo at how sweet they look and then let them get on with it – it’s not difficult but it is a different movement to the ones taught in most swimming lessons, so will take some getting used to.
  3. If buying a tail, doing your homework and making sure it is reputable and has safety features (like the ones I’ve chosen to stock, which have quick release foot pockets, are buoyancy neutral and are open ended).
  4. Staying with your child and keeping an eye at all times while they are swimming.
  5. If possible, booking a mermaid class so they can learn in the safest possible environment.
  6. Not letting them swim alone or just with their friends, with a tail.

This is basic common sense – and if common sense is used, mermaid tails and monofins are no more dangerous than any other piece of sporting equipment.

If I sound patronising or like I am stating the obvious, it’s because there is an old video which does the rounds every now and again, where the captions are all “mermaid tails cause small child to nearly drown” and when you watch it, it’s obvious that the pool is too deep for the child’s ability even without a tail, and the parent just leaves the child to it, and she doesn’t have the ability to right herself.

Remember the pros have training

Professional mermaids make it look easy – with their beautiful photos, long breath holds, underwater grace, open eyes and bubble kisses, they can give the impression that anyone can do this.

It’s (literally) their job to make it look realistic and effortless.

Mermaid Kerenza Sapphire swims underwater at Haraki Beach | Mermaiding UK | mermaiding.co.uk

While I don’t want to shatter the illusion of real mermaids, especially for little ones for whom it is completely magical, I do want to emphasise that these ladies and gentlemen generally have a lot of training, a lot of experience and are not to be blithely imitated without similar training and experience.

Don’t push your limits

Mermaid tails are not inherently dangerous. Monofins are not inherently dangerous. But like any sport and sporting equipment, they can be dangerous if used improperly, without training and without regard for safety and common sense.

The rising trend in mermaiding is not going to lead to more drownings unless people’s stupidity rises along with it.

Even real mermaids need to stay safe

Don’t swim alone, keep an eye on your kids, don’t try swimming in a tail if you’re not a strong swimmer, swim in lifeguarded areas – if you do all of these things, your tail will bring you more joy than I can articulate. 

I am always happy to talk about safety – drop any questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them!

With love & narwhals (because underwater unicorns),

Mermaid Kerenza Sapphire xoxo

Primark mermaid makeup haul

It’s no secret that mermaids love sparkle and glitter, and this mermaid loves it so much she wears it whenever makeup is called for.

Mermaid hen parties also get through copious quantities of any makeup which is shimmering, sparkling or glittering – it goes with the territory.

So I am always on the lookout for glittery goodness to add to the Mermaiding UK props & makeup box, and this weekend I hit gold in Primark, of all places!

I’d gone in for the new Harry Potter collection (which you can read more about over on my personal lifestyle blog), and tripped over all these beauties. Needless to say they all came home with me and are now stashed in the studio, ready for the next party <3

Primark mermaid makeup | Mermaiding UK | mermaiding.co.uk

Clockwise from bottom left: Mermaid tweezers, £1.50 | Metallic lip glosses set £3.50 | Glitter makeup bag (so much more mermaidy than the chocolate satin one I have been using) £6 | Highlighter cream in pearl & gold, £3 each | Holographic lip gloss set in Fantasy, £3.50

I also picked up a gorgeous glitter clutch bag for use in my non-mermaid life:

I’ll sort out a post or video swatching them in the next few weeks, but I am very happy with the quality so far – I’m no makeup snob, but I do like makeup to apply nicely, and to behave itself and not slip off at the first available opportunity!

The Mermaiding UK makeup box is full of everything from Chanel & Urban Decay to Primark & Collection 2000 – I collect shimmery makeup like Ariel collects cutlery!

What’s your favourite mermaid makeup?

Finis Luna monofin first look

It’s here!! The kind folks at Finis lent me their new mermaid range to try out, including the Luna silicone monofin and I am so excited to have got my fins on it!

Aside from sharing a name with my little black cat, the Luna is exciting as it’s the world’s first silicone monofin, and it’s mermaid shaped – so it’s a great way into mermaiding without a full tail.

finis luna monofin first swim | mermaiding.co.uk

It’s also softer than plastic (like Fin Fun, Hydra and the other Finis fins) and rubber (like Mahina), and so I think would probably fold well into a suitcase for mermaiding on the go. I’ll give that a go for the next video, actually!

Here’s my first look / first swim video – I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I really enjoyed it! Will do a full review in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, enjoy the Luna loveliness:

You can also watch the video on YouTube 🙂

Don’t forget to subscribe to Mermaiding UK on YouTube for more mermaid videos!

Customised mermaid denim jacket

Obviously even the most obsessed of mermaids can’t wear a tail all the time… so what’s a mer to do on land?

Customise her favourite denim jacket, of course…

mermaid denim jacket with sequin patches | mermaiding.co.uk

I found some amazing blue sequin patches on Apatchy – unfortunately didn’t read the description properly and didn’t realise till they arrived that they had velcro on the back… which I had to unstitch before I could attach them securely to my jacket. Oops. But they are excellent quality and I am hopeful that now I have resealed the sequin stitching with fabric glue, all will be well… if not, I’ll embrace the shedding of sequins like miniature scales…

mermaid denim jacket with sequin patches | mermaiding.co.uk

It’s low down instead of across the shoulders because my hair is insane and would cover it and catch on it if it was any higher up. Also, this way people can actually read it – and as part of the reason for this is to generate conversations where I can tell people I’m a mermaid and I run mermaid parties, visibility was key!

I’ve always loved tweaking and customising my (often vintage or thrifted) clothes to make them more me – and this was the perfect way to carry my mermaid self around on land. I’ve also added a “Team Mermaid” pin which I think was from Claire’s Accessories, and a glittery narwhal badge (because underwater unicorn!) whose origin I can’t remember.

mermaid denim jacket with sequin patches | mermaiding.co.uk team mermaid pin | mermaiding.co.uk narwhal pin | mermaiding.co.uk

I’m set for the summer!

What mermaid customisations have you made to things you wear on land?

With love & narwhals (because underwater unicorns),

Mermaid Kerenza Sapphire xoxo

 

Mermaid toast – IN LONDON!

You might have seen #mermaidtoast on Instagram – and now it’s coming to London!

Baker Miss Trixie is bringing mermaid toast to the East Village Market in London this Sunday, 25th June. And the best bit? She’s giving out free slices to the first 500 people who come to her stand!

She’s created four different recipes, including “The Ariel” (strawberry and mint), “The Ursula” (blackberries & Nutella Oreo yoghurt), and they are so pretty… and a perfect way to test the waters of your mermaid dreams, no tail required!

Food artist and baker extraordinaire Miss Trixie explains: “I have been admiring Mermaid Toast, and its sister version – Unicorn Toast – for the last few months and couldn’t resist giving it a go myself, which meant getting straight in to the kitchen and playing with sea-themed colours and flavours. I’ve had such fun creating something which is as beautiful to eat as it is to look at. I can’t wait to see what people think of them at the East Village Market.”

Miss Trixie with her mermaid toast | Mermaiding UK | mermaiding.co.uk

All the details you need:

Date: 25 June 2017 from 11am

Location: Victory Park, East Village London – near Stratford tube station and Westfield Stratford car park

More about Miss Trixie can be found on her website, Miss Trixie Drinks Tea, and more on East Village E20 here.

What are you waiting for? Get your mermaid self to London on Sunday… <3

With love and narwhals (because underwater unicorns),

Mermaid Kerenza Sapphire xoxo